However, its selection as one of nine hub towns is a huge boost. One of the main reasons was its proximity to Limerick and Galway cities, 23 miles and 42 miles away respectively. Being just 15 miles from Shannon Airport was also a key factor in its selection.
But one of the major hopes is that the town can attract major investment, which has eluded the banks of the River Fergus up to now.
“We’ve had a serious lack of industry for the last 25 to 30 years, and we’re meeting the Tánaiste to discuss that next week,” said Ennis Town Council chairman, Peter Considine.
One of the major projects awaited is the much-needed Ennis bypass, and town clerk Simon Moroney hopes that will be speeded along as a result of yesterday’s news. “It is vital to helping the town expand to have this piece of infrastructure started.
“It will be important for Ennis itself but also, for example, reducing travelling time for tourists visiting our coastal towns, for example,” he said.
An important element of the development of the town as a hub is its extension to the other towns and villages around Clare, according to Ennis Chamber of Commerce.“It’s important that the whole county sees the benefits of this and that the local authorities can help in that way,” said chamber executive member John Flynn. “The future may well include the development of Ireland’s Silicon Valley between Limerick and Galway, with third-level colleges and the existing IT industry,” he said.